Saturday of the 7th Week in Ordinary Time [II]

Saturday of the 7th Week in Ordinary Time [II]
James 5:13-20 +  Mark 10:13-16
May 21, 2016

“Let my prayer come like incense before you; the lifting up of my hands, like the evening sacrifice.” [Psalm 141:2]

Saint Augustine notes that “this verse is customarily understood of Christ the Head, for as the day drew on toward evening, the Lord laid down His life on the Cross in order to take it up again.  It was not snatched from Him against His will.

“All the same, we too were prefigured there, for what was it that hung on the Cross?  The body Christ had taken from us.  Moreover, how could it ever happen that God the Father should forsake and abandon His only Son, who most certainly is one God with Him? Continue reading

Friday of the 7th Week in Ordinary Time [II]

Friday of the 7th Week in Ordinary Time [II]
James 5:9-12  +  Mark 10:1-12
May 20, 2016

“He crowns you with kindness and compassion.” [Psalm 103:4]

One of my brothers-in-law is a deacon in the Coptic Orthodox Church.  During the more than thirty years that he and my sister have been married I’ve had several opportunities to witness the Coptic Divine Liturgy.  Those experiences have shaped my understanding and celebration of the Sacred Liturgy in the Roman rite of the Catholic Church. Continue reading

Thursday of the 7th Week in Ordinary Time [II]

Thursday of the 7th Week in Ordinary Time [II]
James 5:1-6  +  Mark 9:41-50
May 19, 2016

“Like sheep they are herded into the nether world; death is their shepherd….” [Psalm 49:15]

Saint Augustine of Hippo, in his exposition of this psalm, asks, “Whose shepherd?”  That is to say, when the Psalmist proclaims that “death is their shepherd”, whose shepherd does he mean?

St. Augustine answers: “The people whose entire concern is present affairs, who give no thought to the future”.  Or in other words, those “who think this life is the only life, whereas in reality it is more justly called death.”[1] Continue reading

Pentecost-HOMILY

Pentecost cropped

Pentecost
Acts 2:1-11  +  1 Cor 12:3-7,12-13  +  John 14:15-16,23-26
May 15, 2016

“When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.” 

It’s common to hear the Holy Spirit referred to as a source of freedom and independence, of innovation and novelty.  It’s easy to imagine someone saying, “The Spirit moved me to quit my job and become a missionary in South America”.  But it’s less easy to imagine someone saying, “The Spirit moved me to get up at 5:00 a.m., do a load of laundry, fix breakfast for the family, and then go to the office for eight hours.”  We don’t tend to think of the Holy Spirit in terms of routine, but rather, in terms of what breaks us out of our routine:  what introduces change into our lives. Continue reading

Pentecost-REFLECTION

Pentecost Sunday
Acts 2:1-11  +  1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13  +  John 20:19-23
May 15, 2016

Pentecost 2

“There are different works but the same God….”

When the event of Pentecost occurred almost 2000 years ago, the apostles were transformed by their “encounter” with the Holy Spirit.  But in what way were they changed?  The Holy Spirit didn’t make them taller, or richer, or stronger.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t try to change us in these ways, because He isn’t interested in our bank accounts, or the vehicles we drive, or our looks.  The Holy Spirit is interested in the state of our souls. Continue reading

The Ascension of the Lord [C]-HOMILY

ascension medieval 2

The Ascension of the Lord [C]
Acts 1:1-11  +  Ephesians 1:17-23  +  Luke 24:46-53
May 8, 2016

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses….”

Every time a loved one, a friend or a mentor dies, part of us goes with them.  Part of—a chapter of—our life ends:  part of our life is over, because our life is about our relationships with those whom God has put in our life.  With the passing of each of our family members and friends, we become more divided between this world and the next. Continue reading